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Growing strong

LIHUE — Megan Pittsley-Fox was thrilled when Malama Kauai received two grants to help with its School Garden Network Program.

“We always feel success when a granting agency or individual chooses to support these efforts,” wrote Pittsley-Fox, director of operations. “It means people believe in each other to perform good work that benefits our keiki.”

Malama Kauai’s KSGN program received the grants from the Ulupono Initiative and the Johnson Ohana Foundation to provide support for the KSGN Program. The funds will go toward their school garden and food efforts, their gardening certificate training course, and the organization’s installation of the school garden at Kawaikini Public Charter School.

“We’ve always been great at making the most of very limited resources, but funding is critical to the success of expanding our efforts,” Pittsley-Fox said. “We’ve received so much support from community members and businesses over the years, so when foundations make a commitment to financially support our programs, it truly helps those community-based efforts magnify and make a much greater impact.”

Malama Kauai was also chosen out of 600 applicants to receive a prize package from kidsgardening.com which included a Mantis tiller, an Earth Talon shovel and high mowing and organic seeds.

This year, Malama Kauai held its first GCT class, which created a school garden at Kanuikapono Public Charter School, co-hosting a Project Learning Tree Workshop with the DLNR and expanding the nursery space of its farm to increase propagation and provide lower expenses for school garden plantings.

The organization has also given away more than 300 plants and collected more than $500 worth of school supplies for the AmeriCorps National Day of Recognition for Community Service with other islandwide agencies.

“We’re honored to be a part of these efforts,” Pittsley-Fox said. “We’ve installed or revamped over 20 gardens in pre-K-12 schools on Kauai and we’re still counting. This year could be our most impactful to date.”

The amount of the grants was not available.

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